Hi Everyone :)
We are fast approaching the end of season 21 of Dancing with the Stars. Following tonight’s show, only two weeks are left in the competition. Tonight’s episode will have two rounds. The first is our regular individual dances where the remaining couples perform any unlearned style.
In round two, we will see dance duets. The remaining couples are split into three teams of two and each team will receieve their own respective scores. The teams spent the week doing very different things (trips on a cruise, to New York, and Las Vegas) to get inspiration for these dances.
Once the 9 routines are complete, another couple will be eliminated. That will leave us with our final five! But before we discuss possible eliminations, let’s take a look back at some poll results from last week.
In an extremely close race (almost a tie with 38%), Bindi & Derek and Nick & Sharna won the favorite routine poll. The rest of the contestants were far behind. For least favorite, it was also very close as Tamar & Val and Alek & Lindsay had just about 30% of the vote. But Alexa & Mark and Carlos & Lindsay were also in double digits. As has been the case, Bindi & Derek, Nick & Sharna, and Alek & Lindsay (in that order) are your favorite partnerships.
Now let’s discuss this week’s elimination. You guys feel that Tamar & Val or Alek & Lindsay are toast. You also gave a nice percentage of votes to Alexa & Mark and a bit less (but still double digits) to Carlos & Witney. I absolutely agree that those four couples are in the most danger. I don’t feel secure enough to pick one for sure but other than a shocking boot of Bindi or Nick (not happening), any of these four going home would not surprise me. It will upset me, though. I have grown quite found of these contestants.
As we get closer to crowning a champion, it really is looking like it will be a photo finish on finale night between Bindi and Nick. And that my friends, has been the story since the start. It doesn’t really matter at this point who is playing for 3rd place because barring something shocking, that’s all they can hope for. But let’s see what our final six can pull out tonight to try and secure a spot in the finale. Remember, tonight’s competition will result in next week’s elimination, which will leave us with our finalists.
*TMZ is reporting that Tamar has been rushed to the hospital by her husband for pneumonia, which she has been dealing with for a few weeks. No word yet on whether she will make the show or what will happen if she doesn’t. Remember, the show forced Kim to withdraw way back in week three because she couldn’t get to the studio and compete, so perhaps the same situation is happening here. If true and if that does indeed happen, I am assuming tonight’s elimination will be called off and everyone will get a free ticket to next week. Let’s see.
Oh. Super serious opening package with the remaining six talking about how serious they are about the competition. And here come the stars… and Val is on stage without Tamar. She might return to perform live or she might now. It is live, as Tom says. First up tonight…
Lindsay admits that Alek isn’t the best dancer left in the competition. Carlos gives him some tips. Alek is a bit nervous about removing his shirt. And here comes the waxing. OUCH. Dang. I don’t understand the need for this level of waxing but alright. Well, not too shabby. Lindsay is quite smart here. She is using a gaggle of girls to help mask some of Alek’s weaknesses. Alek has always been weaker at the latin routines as compared to ballroom. He does have a few nice steps going here though. I see some hip action. I see some swagger. He looks like he is having fun. It is just a bit…under the bar that you would expect from a week nine salsa routine. But it could have been worse. Lindsay did her best with the choreography here though and I have to give Alek props for at least improving on his last latin dance.
Julianne says Alek looks great and the production was fun to watch. The bad news is though that Alek messed up a bit and he needs to use the floor more when using his hips. Bruno liked seeing Alek having fun. He does agree the hip action and the fluidity needs work. Carrie Ann is proud of how far Alek has come. She felt though that the music and Alek never quite came together.
Carrie Ann- 8
You can vote for Alek & Lindsay by calling 1-855-234-5601 during the show and for 60 minutes after the broadcast in each time zone. You can also vote online at abc.com and/or https://apps.facebook.com/votedwts/ (voting is combined via this method) from the start of the East Coast show till 8PM the next day (Eastern).
Mark is giving Alexa a big pep talk after last week’s mess-ups. Alexa is reminded that when she was filming a movie, producers told her she was too fat. It lead to an eating disorder (bulimia) and so this dance brings up some strong feelings in her. Mark really wants to go there with the choreography. He will be representing the eating disorder in the dance as Alexa represents herself. Very strong choreography from Mark here. This is one of those extremely raw contemporary pieces. Alexa is without question pulling out the stops with this one. She is doing some fascinatingly strong things with her body here and Mark is a great partner with the lifts and all. Alexa performing her strongest routine of the competition- and at just the right time. Just an emotionally charged performance from beginning to end.
Bruno said Alexa danced like a woman possessed. He also compliments the choreography. Carrie Ann thought it was incredible because it was more than dance, it was healing. Julianne says that where vulnerability comes in, strength is born. More compliments to Mark on his choreography.
Carrie Ann- 10
You can vote for Alexa & Mark by calling 1-855-234-5602 during the show and for 60 minutes after the broadcast in each time zone. You can also vote online at abc.com and/or https://apps.facebook.com/votedwts/ (voting is combined via this method) from the start of the East Coast show till 8PM the next day (Eastern).
Carlos was really scared about last week’s near elimination. Witney is having a tough time during rehearsal coming up with a good routine and she is freaking out a bit. OH. Carlos says he wants to beat his wife. I’m not too sure I love the decision Witney made to use the door in this routine. It is taking away from the flow of the argentine tango. It feels like the pair just get into the good stuff and then it sort of stops for this door thing. I mean, the argentine tango material is good but let’s be honest, we have seen better routines like this, with more passion and better choreography. I don’t see any glaring issues or mistakes with technique, so that’s a positive. Witney is one of those choreographers who love to incorporate new things into the dance and many times, it works. This time, a bit of a distraction.
Carrie Ann thought it was good, clean, and nice but it didn’t touch her. It lacked impact. She feels it didn’t do Carlos justice. Julianne says Carlos is an amazing dancer but the dance is about passion and emotional stuff and that was lacking. Bruno disagrees a bit. He wants Carlos to be careful of his feet though because they need to be sharper at times. The concept though, he enjoyed.
Carrie Ann- 9
You can vote for Carlos & Witney by calling 1-855-234-5605 during the show and for 60 minutes after the broadcast in each time zone. You can also vote online at abc.com and/or https://apps.facebook.com/votedwts/ (voting is combined via this method) from the start of the East Coast show till 8PM the next day (Eastern).
Derek feels that Bindi is held to a high standard so he wants to make sure they don’t drop the ball. Derek is having a lack of inspiration putting the routine together. Bindi doesn’t want Derek to stress. Oh. Bindi has a blindfold (at least, I think it is) over her eyes at the beginning until Derek removes it. An attempt to connect with the music and make a theme out of this. And the meat of this routine is gorgeous. Whoa. That leap Bindi just did into Derek was quite insane. I actually gasped. Really loved that. Quite an interesting and somewhat different take on a viennese waltz. And unlike the previous routine where the change up in choreography didn’t work, this definitely did. Lovely gliding around the floor and some great lines. Another winner from Derek in the choreography department and another winner in the dancing from Bindi. Lovely.
Julianne thinks we have watched Bindi grow. And she thinks it is because Bindi doesn’t play it safe. She can’t say enough good things about it. Bruno says the dance spoke for itself. Carrie Ann felt like she was watching a sunrise- unique, perfection, hope, etc…She obviously loved it.
Carrie Ann- 10
You can vote for Bindi & Derek by calling 1-855-234-5604 during the show and for 60 minutes after the broadcast in each time zone. You can also vote online at abc.com and/or https://apps.facebook.com/votedwts/ (voting is combined via this method) from the start of the East Coast show till 8PM the next day (Eastern).
Tamar is still not back from the hospital but the show is still airing the rehearsal package from the two of them. Val doesn’t think a contemporary routine would have worked in week five but now, it will. Tamar believes she can make the finals. But it has been a super busy week for her. She has been all over the country doing her show, concerts, and rehearsal for dancing. So, the judges are going to score her dress rehearsal. And that’s what we are about to see. This is hard to judge because I have no idea how much effort Tamar and Val put into this or how much energy they saved for rehearsal. And to be honest, some of this is lacking. The connection is lacking. And some of the moves toward the middle and end are not exactly up to part as what one would expect. Again, no clue whether or not they held back for the show but you can definitely tell… this is just a rehearsal. It is a shame we couldn’t see this live because watching this just doesn’t compute to what we may have seen.
Bruno thought the concept was brilliant but the routine had a lot of mistakes. OH. Val doesn’t want to hear what the judges have to say. Carrie Ann says she could see it was a dress rehearsal. Julianne agrees with what Carrie Ann just said.
Carrie Ann- 8
You can vote for Tamar & Val by calling 1-855-234-5612 during the show and for 60 minutes after the broadcast in each time zone. You can also vote online at abc.com and/or https://apps.facebook.com/votedwts/ (voting is combined via this method) from the start of the East Coast show till 8PM the next day (Eastern).
Nick is still basking in the glow of last week. Nick says the greatest things in life come with patience. Sharna wants a completely different character. She mentions that she has never won the trophy on the show and so, the pressure is on. Nick’s hip is really hurting. Sharna tells him to lay down. He wonders if his body is trying to tell him something. Fun production here. It is like a Great Gatsby inspired routine. Nick gets some alone time to show off some skills. Nice. In hold with Sharna, the two are definitely doing a proper quickstep. But I do wonder if he judges are going to come down on Sharna for breaking hold during this. Granted, Nick is charming on his own and I am enjoying the performance value but yes, the quickstep is a constant in-hold dance. We shall see how the judges react to that. But beyond that, a fun routine with a great theme.
Carrie Ann is happy Nick didn’t lose any mojo from last week. But there was a bit out of an out of sync moment. Also, she notes that the hold isn’t supposed to be broken as it was. Julianne feels that in-hold, the performance went down just a bit. Bruno disagrees. He didn’t see anything the others did. He loved it.
Carrie Ann- 9
You can vote for Nick & Sharna by calling 1-855-234-5610 during the show and for 60 minutes after the broadcast in each time zone. You can also vote online at abc.com and/or https://apps.facebook.com/votedwts/ (voting is combined via this method) from the start of the East Coast show till 8PM the next day (Eastern).
Carlos/Witney & Alek/Lindsay – Paso Doble
The four went on a cruise to get inspiration from the show “We Will Rock You.” It is about Queen and is straight rock and roll. Rehearsals are tough because well… the four are enjoying themselves on the cruise so rehearsal is coming in second. Carlos and Alek want to have some fun. Witney and Lindsay need their boys to concentrate. They have been brought together as a team but they need to practice. OH. This is awesome and fun to watch. It is almost like an opening routine on the show where everyone dances together. And Alek (who I was worried about) is definitely keeping up with Carlos. Some really fun choreography here and I love the big feel of the dance. Awesome lifts. Strong men. Fierce women. Alek and Carlos must dance together for 30 seconds. Decent stuff. For the show’s first ever routine where two teams must dance like this, the two are doing well.
Julianne loved the lift. But she felt there was an opportunity for Carlos & Alek to do something more when they were together. She found it a bit stale. Bruno did enjoy it but he thought some of it needed to be more ballsy. Carrie Ann doesn’t think the shoes were filled for that song. And they were a bit out of sync. She thinks the moves did not match the song.
Carrie Ann- 8
*Ouch, I thought the judges were kind of harsh of the foursome there all things considered. I can kind of agree with the “needed more power” critique but still, I found it to be better than what the judges are making it out to be.
Bindi/Derek & Alexa/Mark – Charleston
The four saw “Chicago” in New York. I must say, I have seen this show on Broadway numerous times and it is fantastic. If you never have and get the opportunity, see it. The movie is amazing as well. Just a complete masterpiece. Okay, back to the package. Alexa is worried about missing steps because if she is dancing with Bindi, she doesn’t have Mark to pull her though. Derek is a bit frustrated during rehearsal. He and Mark having somewhat of a tough time. Time is of the essence and that is what is frustrating Derek. OMG. So much fun. They are totally paying tribute to the show with this. You can’t expect them to look like they are ready to step out on a Broadway stage but they most definitely are doing more than an acceptable job. Bindi is playing Roxie. Alexa is Velma. Absolutely love the Alexa/Bindi dance alone time. Perfection! This is such sheer joy. Again, if you have seen the show and/or movie, you will see how true to form this dance is while still being original and exciting. Kudos to Derek and Mark, though one must give the most kudos to Fosse for the original choreography.
Bruno is over the moon. He loved the style and feel. He calls it wonderful. Carrie Ann calls it reinvention at its finest. She loved the teamwork. Julianne wishes she was in that number with them.
Carrie Ann- 10
*And Tamar has arrived back from the hospital. So, she IS going to dance. This should be interesting.
Nick/Sharna & Tamar/Val – Rumba
Footage is shown of Tamar is arriving backstage. Damn. Tamar wants to compete. She has moments I guess to get into costume for this as we head for the rehearsal package. The four saw the “LOVE by Cirque du Soleil” and they are performing some crazy stunts mixed in with rumba in order to pay tribute. Nick is concerned because he doesn’t want to let Tamar down seeing as how they are the only male/female partnership out of the three teams. Lots of rehearsal because they want to look good- as good as the real show, not just competitors copying. Tamar and Nick get their solo over with early and while it is okay, you can tell Tamar is a bit out of it. And that becomes more evident when the four dance together. What can you say though? She just came from the hospital. Expecting perfection or close to it would be crazy. I wish some more rumba was included here. It is kind of jarring and I question the producers decision to even give them a rumba to this. Why not a jazz routine? The rumba is slow and sexy and more grounded and this is well… a spectacle- as it should be. I don’t know. I feel for Tamar. Nick is doing what he is supposed to do. A shame that Tamar isn’t at one hundred percent because if so, I’m sure this would have been received with rave reviews just like the previous routine.
*Tom says had Tamar not shown, she would have been eliminated. Now to the judges…
Carrie Ann says it was a fantastic performance. She didn’t feel either Nick or Tamar let the other down. Julianne says everyone supported Tamar and Nick stepped up like a leading man. Bruno calls it magical.
Carrie Ann- 9
Damn. What a night. And sadly (really sadly), time for an elimination.
Bindi & Derek
Nick & Sharna
Alek & Lindsay
Tamar 6 Val
And of course… the show got exactly what they wanted. The married couple in jeopardy, facing elimination, together. Oh boy.
And in week 9, the eliminated couple is…
ALEXA & MARK.
Carlos is a crying mess. He wishes it was him. Alexa is in tears as well. She is happy that she ended doing so well. Mark is very proud. Tom says it is so true that Alexa left going out so strong. Carlos is still really upset. This is exactly what the show wanted of course- to see the tears and drama but still, it is rather touching to see the love between Carlos ans Alexa. Who knows if Carlos was really in jeopardy or if the show just wanted to milk the married angle but whatever the case, it was obvious Carlos was gutted by Alexa’s elimination and a shame for us that she was indeed eliminated because she had improved so much in recent weeks, especially tonight. Bummer.
What a night. Between the duet dances, Tamar being out and then in, basically dancing minutes after being released from the hospital, to a really sad elimination, this one was tough. Yes, an enjoyable night of dancing with some great routines but tough still. I will have polls up in a little while in a new post and I hope you guys enjoyed watching. Till next week…